TLC for an old Nikon

Restoring a bike ? Building a Kit Car ? Do a bit of painting or crochet ?
This is the place to show off your skills here !!

TLC for an old Nikon

Sponsor

Sponsor
 

TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:51 pm

I have a penchant for old cameras, and one of my dream cameras to add to the collection was the Legendary Nikon F.
To acquire one, often means paying a lot of money for a pristine one or settling for a wallet friendly "needs repair/ has issues"
Much patient watching of evilbay, finally yielded a 1967 Nikon F with Photomic viewfinder with the right balance of issues and price that my meagre skills can remedy and a price that didn't cause to much ire from HWMBO

So to bring this one back to its shining glory:
- foam for mirror rest needed replacing.
- No light meter reading in the viewfinder, but can read external meter ok so a issue within the viewfinder iself.
- Scuffed viewfinder housing
- General grime and grot, and a big smear of contact cement on the viewfinder leatherette to clean up.

However the camera itself is fully functional, and none of the above affects its operation.

Another couple of surprises popped up as you shall see later!

Here it is as received, the lens is one I already had.
Image

Image

The external window for reading the light meter can be seen at the top of the viewfinder housing, along with the smear of glue
Image

Image

At the top of the viewfinder image should be a reflected image from the light meter. but other than that, this is all you got back then!
Image
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Mon Jan 30, 2017 10:02 pm

First task is to remove a few decades of grime.

This is what I use to clean metal bodied cameras:
Image

Clockwise from Top left:
Window cleaner for general scrubbing
White vinegar for alloy with green corrosion and battery compartments.
Paper towels
Isopropyl Alcohol
Old soft bristled paintbrush
Lens pen
Toothbrush (old!!)
Cotton buds, lots of cotton buds!
Rocket blower - yes Non camera owners, there is such a thing and a marvelous thing they are too.
Toothpicks
Microfiber towel (the type sold for LCD screen cleaning) and small microfiber cloths, I buy the small cloths bulk from ebay and treat them as disposable, they are way cheaper than lens tissues.
I also lay a soft cloth on the work-space, its gentle on delicate parts and minimises bouncing parts, I prefer white as it makes dropped small parts easier to see . You can also use a towel, but cameras and lenses have some very small bits that simply vanish into thick towels.
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby Mark » Tue Jan 31, 2017 4:57 pm

Lovely piece of photographic history !!
Cheers
Mark

If you nose runs and your feet smell, you're upside down !
User avatar
Mark
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15218
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:44 pm
Karma: 380

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby R2D2 » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:22 pm

Iv'e always liked the old mechanical cameras although I have a digital Canon EOS. I also have a 35mm Canon EOS but rarely use it now. Fortunately the lenses also work with the Digital EOS so they are not wasted! I just love the mechanical engineering that went into the old 35mm cameras!
User avatar
R2D2
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2638
Joined: Wed May 25, 2011 9:15 pm
Karma: 93

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:32 pm

Yup, there's something about old mechanical cameras that is just magic. And the sounds effects are just sublime!
Can't beat mixing and matching old lenses to new cameras and vice versa :D
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:43 pm

First task is to get things clean again, I like to have a clean camera to work with, to minimise the risk of transferring dust and dirt into the innards of the camera.

To loosen up decades of dirt and grime, I gave the camera the tickle treatment with the paintbrush:
Image

The rocket blower was then used to blow away dust.
Image

As there are many delicate parts inside, I only used the blower to vamoose dust in the interior.
I hold the camera body upside down for a bit of gravity assist.
Image
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:57 pm

Let the scrubbing commence!

I dipped a toothbrush in some window cleaner, then tapped off excess, before working over a section of the camera body with the toothbrush then I immediately wiped up the cleaner with a papertowel
Image


Cotton buds and a microfiber cloth wrapped around a toothpick were used to clean every nook and cranny.
Image

The film rails had some corrosion to attend to, a wipe with white vinegar neutralises the corrosion process:
Image

As the rails need to be smooth for film to travel across without catching, I first removed the worst of the roughness caused by the corrosion with a fibreglass brush.
I then used the same micromesh pads used for polishing models, to restore the sheen. I rubbed down the entire length of the rails for a consistent finish, and of course taking extreme care not to touch the delicate titanium foil shutter curtain.
Image

Good as new again :D
Image


As the mirror was very dusty and was dull with grime, I very softly swabbed on window cleaner with a cotton bud, then I then gently gently buffed the mirror with the microfiber towel wrapped around a cotton bud.
Generally unless the mirror is very dirty, it is best to leave the mirror alone.
Image
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Tue Jan 31, 2017 9:59 pm

Starting to get interesting now the viewfinder has been popped off!
Image
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby baby_astons » Fri Feb 03, 2017 12:18 pm

superb stuff morrigan!
I love the old stuff and have just unearthed my mechanical minolta 7000 camera (the ground-shaking new age wonder of 1985 :D ) for my daughter -
she has now a canon 800D as a successor to her pentax k7 but wanted to try a bit of celluloid for a change - other REAL digital benefit than the high price for films doesn't come to mind -
ah, yes and of course everyone can do 500 exposures and look for the ONE great picture - with celluloid you had to think before you pushed the shutter...

watching your restoration with interest, an old chinon ce memotron and a practica should be somewhere and in need of help...
building:DB5~E-Type~Testarossa~Aston Vantage V12~Millennium Falcon

stash: viewtopic.php?f=157&t=5628

Always forgive your enemies - nothing annoys them so much.
User avatar
baby_astons
General
General
 
Posts: 10187
Joined: Tue Mar 29, 2011 1:31 pm
Location: Resting in Peace
Karma: 179

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:02 am

The very reason I have started shooting film again, Digital cameras spoil you and bad habits creep in. The 120 film cameras I have only can do 8 shots a roll, I sure do stop and think about each shot!!
Plus having to calulate for yourself exposure and sometimes focus. But massive amounts of fun.
And then you start teachiing youself how to fix them........
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:13 am

Remember the bit about the unexpected I mentioned earlier?

Well seems someone had already had a rummage around in the viewfinder, presumably to try and find out the problem, and left out some of the screws. :angry-banghead:
No idea why they removed one of the nameplate screws. Plonker.
Image

Just in case you forgot it was a Nikon!
Image

As the viewfinder rests on the nameplate, the missing screw needed to be replaced as who wants a wobbly viewfinder?
I found just the type and size screw needed on a Kiev 4 toplate I had purchased as back-up lightmeter bits for my Kiev 4.
No explosions resulted from fitting a Soviet screw to a Japanese camera.
Image
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 2:35 am

With the viewfinder out of the way, the topplate could get a good scrub.


To give the film counter and reminder dials a good clean, I removed the winder housing. Most cameras I have, just need 3 set screws loosened. However a couple of cameras just sandwich the winder assembly and spring togther with just one screw so do your homework first otherwise there could be small bits zinging off to the far corners of the room.
To avoid stripping the delicate screws, I make sure the screwdriver fits exactly. I usually don't unscrew the set screws all the way out, just enough to free the part as being so tiny, they are easily lost and they are also a right :angry-banghead: to get back in again!
Image

Not as clean as first appearences would make out!
Image

As the winder works smoothly with no play, i didn't dismantle it any further. Just blew the dust out and a wipe down.
Image

I also popped the focus screen out, these a super easy to remove as these are swappable items. Nikon made about 18 different focus screens for the Nikon F range. :shock:
Just press the viewfinder release button, and tip the camera body gently upside down over a cloth in a cupped hand, and there it is!
Image

Image

I diod a few cyles of puffing with the rocket blower and whisking with a brush to ensure every last speck was banished from the focus screen.
I then made the topside sparkle again with a Lens Pen. These have ultra fine graphite powder in the tip which clings to the pens seude pad to soakup any general muck and oils from fingerprints, and as long as there is no dust or grit on the glass, are a very gentle way to clean glass as no harsh solvents or fluids are needed.
Image

Image
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Sun Feb 05, 2017 3:14 am

Before begining this and knowing I would need to open up the viewfinder, I decided that a reprint of the Viewfinder service manual would be a 'very good thing to have (tm)'
Image

Yes, there are more missing screws here. This made me rather cross.
For just about all viewfinder repair and cleaning tasks, the viewfinder needs to seperated into two parts by undong the four bottom screws.
Image

I place any removed screws onto a magnetised dish, and lay them out according to where they came from:
Image

The innards of a photomic Tn viewfinder, the big brass gear is the Variohm wheel (Nikon's part name!) i.e. variable resistor that connects the shutter setting dial stack to the light meter electronics.
As Spock would say "Fascinating!"
While I had everything opened, the dustbunnies were evicted and all soldered joints checked, any corroded joints were cleaned with a fibreglass brush.
Image

This is the lightmeter display which is duplicated on both topside and underside.
An image of the underside light meter display, is relayed down a prism attached to the front of the Pentaprisim....
Image

.....and then it should do a 90' degree turn about here to beam into the pentaprisim and allow you to read the light meter through the viewfinder eyepiece. so somewhere along the light path, something is broken or missing.
Image

Referring to the repair manual and using a torch to check the light path, identified why there is no view of the lightmeter in the viewfinder.
On this little bracket, there should be a small mirror to bend the light path 90'. In the repair manual the mirror is part G2.
Old glue won't do a very good job of reflecting light. So the problem is quite repairable, and accordingly I have now tracked down a 'For spare parts or repair' Tn Viewfinder on evilbay from India of all places, Hopefully this will give me replacements for the missing screws, a not so scuffed faceplate for the view finder and the missing G2 mirror.
Image
Image



Just have to wait for it to arrive.....on an East Indiaman perhaps?
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby Mark » Sun Feb 05, 2017 4:39 pm

Fascinating !!!
Cheers
Mark

If you nose runs and your feet smell, you're upside down !
User avatar
Mark
Site Admin
Site Admin
 
Posts: 15218
Joined: Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:44 pm
Karma: 380

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:58 am

The eyepeice for the viewfinder was pretty dirty, so more dismantling was required to get it out.

First I had to remove the circuit board, to do this you have to undo a mounting screw then very gently lift the board a little, so you can get a screwdriver underneath to loosen the screws holding the the CdS photoresistor clamps.
Image

Underneath are two set screws that secure the eyepeice, a little acetone was needed to soften the lacquer nikon used to secure the set screws.
Image

Now there are now two screws to remove so the eyepeice can be slid out.
They hide under the leatherrette each side of the eyepiece, to remove them I used Isopop alcohol round the edges of the leatherette, and then used a scalpel blade to gently lift a corner.
Image

I then added a good dollop of alcohol under the leatherette, and let it soak into the old contact adhesive before gently lifting up the leatherette with a flat bladed screwdriver.
Look at all that dirt in there!
Image

Now I could free the eypeice and give it a jolly good scrub.
Note the little plate that stop the set screws pressing directly on the glass.
Image
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 3:10 am

The eyepice is actually two lenses glued toegther, if two much cleaning fluid is applied it may seep into the joint and make the cement go hazy.
Image

Once the eyepieve had been cleaned, and set back in place. The leatherette needs to be gluded back on.
Just a thin smear of contact adhesive or good craft glue that can be removed easily is all that is needed, for the love of all that is good and holy supeglue and expoxy is not the right stuff!
Image

A damp cotton bud was used to press down the leatherette panel and soak up any excess glue that oozed out.
Image

All clean :D
Image

Clear nail polish was used to resecure the set screws.
Image
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295

Re: TLC for an old Nikon

Postby morrigan » Sun Feb 12, 2017 4:00 am

The package with a parts donor viewfinder arrived surprisingly quick from India.
Image

A squiz in the viewfinder confimred it had just the part needed :D
Image

The two mirror brackets - the one on the right has the vital G2 mirror
Image

After a clean it was installed in its new home, so now the viewfinder is in full working order :D
If the needle is centered, exposure should be correct, to the left is over exposed, to the right under exposed.
I used my Nikon FM to confirm the light meter was still acurate by setting both camers to exacty the same aperture, ISO and shutter speed and confirming the light meters agreed for both.
Image

Last task for the viewfinder is to replace the scuffed face plate.

A good scrub and it looks like this will do as a replacement even if it has a few light scuffs. But it is much better cosmetically
Image
Image

A bit of panel beating was required to straighten the bottom edge, nipper handles came in handy for this task!
As this was actualy a Photomic T faceplate , I carefully used a cutting bit in the Dremel to do exactly what Nikon did to change this faceplate to fit the Tn , and cut a notch in the top edge for the battery check button that was added to the Tn viewfinder, the other difference between the two is the Tn introduced center weighted metering, but otherwise they are identical. A good thing as the Tn was only made for a year before the very different FTn viewfinder was released. The older T and newer FTn viewfinders both had production runs of severeal years and are much more common! Hence why I decided to modify a faceplate I could readily get.
Image

Looking much better!
The battery check button is the white plastic button above the silver button and N.
Image
Image

The list is getting shorter! :dance:
Needs more fusewire
User avatar
morrigan
Lietenant Colonel
Lietenant Colonel
 
Posts: 2681
Joined: Thu Feb 10, 2011 7:21 am
Location: Auckland, New Zealand
Karma: 295


Return to 1:1 Scale Projects, Arts and Crafts

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest